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Entries from March 2020

OCAD University—Curating in the Digital Realm

March 6th, 2020 · Comments

Today, we take you to Toronto. We’re here to meet a group of graduate students at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, also known as OCAD. For the Intro to Curatorial Practices course, their goal is to research, develop and activate an exhibition in the digital realm. Recorded in the first weeks of the semester, our conversation reveals how the students are defining their roles and designing their strategy for curating an online platform. 

In the months following our campus visit, the students forged an interdisciplinary curatorial collective. In December 2019, they launched the exhibition titled connection_found. Online now, works by seven artists illustrate the quirks of navigating intimacy on the web. “At the core of the exhibition,” writes the collective on their website, “connection_found simultaneously expands, individuates, and links the collective experience of existing on the internet.”

OCAD University—Curating in the Digital Realm is one of our 2020 Student Edition episodes.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Photography: FreshArtINTL

Related Episodes: SAIC—Imagining Tomorrow, Wayne State—Designing for Urban Mobility

Related Links: Criticism and Curatorial Practice Program, Ontario College of Art and Design University, connection_found

Intro to Curatorial Practices, a graduate seminar in the Criticism and Curatorial Program at OCAD University, introduces students to the major critical texts, theories and debates in the burgeoning international field of contemporary curatorial studies. Simultaneously throughout the seminar, students attend public exhibitions, screenings, lectures, performances and events in Toronto's visual art and design worlds. An ongoing examination of contemporary art and design practices within public culture provides students with an eclectic and critical mapping of the layers and intersections of the visual arts, media and design in relation to their varied publics, audiences, markets, the mass media and the scholarly community. 

connection_found is an online group exhibition organized by feelSpace featuring works by Ronnie Clarke, Taylor Jolin, Leia Kook-Chun, Madeleine Lychek and Paula Tovar, Noelle Wharton-Ayer, and Becca Wijshijer. Together, these works trace and re-trace digital intimacy, touch, and the body as it moves and navigates towards the virtual realm. More literally, connection_found suggests the curatorial alignment of these works in a digital context which, in and of itself, requires finding connection. Source: feelspace.cargo.site.

Andrea Fatona, Associate Professor, Faculty of Art and Graduate Program Director, Criticism and Curatorial Practice, is an active curator. Her areas of focus are culture, cultural policy formation, cultural production, nation making, citizenship and multiculturalisms. In the classroom, she engages students in thinking about issues around equity and diversity in the context of art.

The Student Edition began in 2019, with visits to art schools and universities in the United States and Canada, where we began recording voices of the future. In 2020, we present the first episodes in our Student Edition—conversations about creativity with emerging makers and producers. Given opportunities to explore and experiment, students are discovering how they can shape the world they live in. What issues and ideas spark their creative impulse?

Tags: · · · curator · exhibition · technology · art tech

Wayne State—Designing for Urban Mobility

March 4th, 2020 · Comments

Today, we take you to Motor City. Once a symbol of the dynamic U.S. economy, Detroit, Michigan, has gone through a major economic and demographic decline since the 1960s. The drastic drop in population created acres of emptiness—vacant lots, abandoned buildings and food deserts. 

Detroit’s art scene is known for countering negative growth with a resilient DIY attitude. While locals respect and sustain the history of innovation in the place they call home, the gritty urban landscape has begun to attract newcomers. Creatives from other cities are heading here to seek affordable studios and fresh opportunities. 

Education is evolving along with Detroit’s cultural character. At Wayne State University, degree programs are increasingly geared toward next generation art and design. Students taking the course Design for Urban Mobility work with local entrepreneurs to solve design problems. Past clients have been Detroit Bikes and the Detroit Department of Transportation with the Rehab Institute of Michigan. In fall 2019, juniors and seniors majoring in Industrial Design join forces with Dazmonique Carr, founder of Deeply Rooted Produce.

In our conversation with these emerging designers, we discovered firsthand the impact of an educational opportunity that invites students to make a difference. Responding to the call, they are enabling and supporting mobility throughout the city—with actionable ideas that promote self-sufficiency and health literacy.

Wayne State—Designing for Urban Mobility is one of our 2020 Student Edition episodes.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Photography Monica McGivern, except where noted

Related Episodes: SAIC—Imagining Tomorrow, OCAD University—Curating in the Digital Realm

Related Links: Industrial Design, Wayne State University, Deeply Rooted Produce

Design for Urban Mobility is a course offered through Wayne State University’s James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History. Students taking the course consider a variety of questions of how products, spaces and experiences enable and support our mobility through urban space. Each semester—often through client-based projects—they explore four distinct but interrelated concepts of urban mobility: mobility and community, mobility and discovery, mobility and economic vitality, and mobility and social justice.

Deeply Rooted Produce, founded by Dazmonique Carr, is a mobile market with a mission: to provide fresh fruits and vegetables sourced locally and support Detroit’s economy towards self-sufficiency and health literacy. The market’s purpose is to Increase access to healthy foods without sacrificing quality for affordability. DPR Promise: Provide H.E.L.P. (Health Education Literacy for People of Color) 

Siobhan Gregory, a senior lecturer at Wayne University, an industrial designer and applied anthropologist, living and working in Detroit. Her research focuses on the progress of a more human-centered design practice. In the business sector, she pulls from anthropological theory and methods to help organizations.

The Student Edition began in 2019, with visits to art schools and universities in the United States and Canada, where we began recording voices of the future. In 2020, we present the first episodes in our Student Edition—conversations about creativity with emerging makers and producers. Given opportunities to explore and experiment, students are discovering how they can shape the world they live in. What issues and ideas spark their creative impulse?

Tags: · · · · contemporary art · activism · community · education · political art

SAIC—Imagining Tomorrow

March 2nd, 2020 · Comments

Today, we take you to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, also known as SAIC. We’re here to meet participants in Imagining Tomorrow. The yearly experiential learning opportunity brings together students from schools in the Netherlands, Germany, the United States and Pakistan.

During each two-week seminar, they gather in a different host community to envision possible futures through design thinking. The clients are local organizations who ask the students to imagine solutions to real-life challenges—such as environmental sustainability and immigrant integration. 

Chicago-based artists Kirsten Leenaars and Laura Davis co-created this international project. A lecturer at SAIC, Leenaars introduces us to three students who have experienced Imagining Tomorrow in Utrecht, Netherlands and Karlsruhe, Germany. Their studies range from film, animation and video to architecture and fashion.

In our conversation, you’ll hear how in a range of cultural contexts, students and educators alike forge meaningful relationships and learn to navigate business and government protocols. Crossing international borders to collaborate and innovate, students bring creativity outside the classroom—engaging with communities and learning to lead. 

Related Episodes: Wayne State—Designing for Urban Mobility, OCAD University—Curating in the Digital Realm

Related Links: School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Imagining Tomorrow, International Red Cross/the Netherlands, ZKM Center for Art and Media/Germany

Imagining Tomorrow is a two-week international seminar in which students from schools in the Netherlands, Germany, the United States and Pakistan come together to collaboratively address questions about future design thinking. They work with clients from international public and private organizations to propose interdisciplinary solutions to real-life issues. Participating schools: HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands; SAIC, Chicago, USA; Karlshochschule International University, Karlsruhe, Germany; Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi, Pakistan. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago will host the 2020 seminar.

Kirsten Leenaars, an interdisciplinary video artist based in Chicago, lectures at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Various forms of performance, theater, and documentary strategies make up the threads that run through her work. She engages with individuals and communities to create participatory video and performance work. Her work oscillates between fiction and documentation, reinterprets personal stories and reimagines everyday realities through shared authorship, staging and improvisation. 

Laura Davis is a multi-disciplinary artist interested in objects and craft. Her works both present their own histories but easily adapt to how Davis recontextualizes them. She wields and contradicts assumed archetypes of gendered roles, reimagining new relationships by creating handcrafted metal sculpture combined with gender specific readymade objects. Her interactions disrupt notions of value at the intersections of art, design and craft.    

The Student Edition began in 2019, with visits to art schools and universities in the United States and Canada, where we began recording voices of the future. In 2020, we present the first episodes in our Student Edition—conversations about creativity with emerging makers and producers. Given opportunities to explore and experiment, students are discovering how they can shape the world they live in. What issues and ideas spark their creative impulse?

Tags: · · · · · · contemporary art · activism · community · education · political art

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